Frequently asked questions
Q: Is chiropractic good only for adults?
A: Chiropractic will help anyone’s health, from newborns to geriatrics. Reducing nerve interference allows the body’s inborn ability to look after its own needs to thrive, regardless of age.
Q: Can I adjust myself?
A: Habitually twisting the neck or low back to create a ‘pop’ that brings some relief for stiffness or pain actually accelerates osteoarthritic degeneration of the joints involved. The long-term effect of such self-adjustment can progressively become very complicated, harmful or, in some cases, even tragic.
Q: Should I be adjusted if I’m sick?
A: Generally, a patient will be ill if the neurological communication within the body is not working as well as it should. Chiropractic adjustments are directed to reestablish the neurological communication of the body so, in the majority of cases, an adjustment should be sought to help the body fight off its challenges. However, an adjustment would only be provided following a complete and thorough examination, and only if necessary.
Q: What research has been done on chiropractic?
A: There have been numerous government studies and a very high number of independent clinically controlled trials that have produced an abundance of published literature. Chiropractic is evidence based and an abundance of research for low back, neck pain and headaches exists. All of the research that has been done has validated the efficacy of chiropractic care for neuromusculoskeletal conditions.
Q: What is an adjustment?
A: It is a therapeutic procedure that uses a direction and a force that is gentle and precise to restore function and mobility to a joint. The adjustment is customized to the patient and the patient’s condition with the aim to restore and heal the conditions which are troublesome to the patient, or interfering with the expression of health. At all times the patient’s comfort and safety are paramount and healing progresses at the patient’s rate of improvement.
Q: Is it true that once you start chiropractic care you have to continue with it the rest of your life?
A: No. Chiropractic care, like any form of health care, is optional and within the ability of the patient to stop or continue at any point. Conditions that are chronic and long-standing may require some long-term supportive care, but that would be a choice a patient could make in consultation with their chiropractor.
Q: Why won’t my medical doctor refer me to a chiropractic doctor?
A: This problem is becoming more and more rare as scientific and research support for the effectiveness of chiropractic care appears. Patient centered care encourages a co-operative relationship between all professions and this is increasingly the experience that patients are encountering. Patients should remember they do not need a referral to meet a medical doctor or a chiropractic doctor, and therefore are free to pursue their own health care choices.
Q: Can chiropractic help painful bone spurs?
A: Bone spurs are a complication of osteoarthritis, an accompanying condition to the majority of neuromusculoskeletal problems that chiropractors see. By restoring flexibility and mobility to spinal and bodily joints, the irritating effects of osteoarthritis can be reduced.
Q: Are there any risks in seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy?
A: Chiropractic offices have special equipment that will ensure the comfort and safety of both the mother and baby during examination and treatment. If there are nerve irritations and pressures present within the expectant mother, their removal will enhance the health of mother and fetus, as well as ease labor and delivery.
Q: Can a person who has had spine or back surgery see a chiropractor?
A: Yes, in most instances the problem that caused the need for surgery may still be an issue for the patient and only the symptomatic condition would have been surgically addressed. The cause of the problem may still be active within the patient and could be addressed by a chiropractor.
Q: How safe is chiropractic care?
A: The chiropractic adjustment is safer than almost any other form of health care intervention including the taking of an aspirin. The likelihood of a patient experiencing a serious adverse reaction to a chiropractic adjustment is somewhere between 1 in a million and 1 in 5.85 million, signifying an extremely rare event according to current scientific studies.
Q: Do chiropractors treat any other conditions other than back problems?
A: Yes. Ninety-six percent of all chiropractic care has to do with neuromusculoskeletal conditions, which include nerve, joint and muscle problems throughout the body, with a primary focus on the spine. The vertebral subluxation complex is usually the underlying cause of these conditions and research indicates that chiropractic care is the most effective approach to restore proper function and health.
Q: How expensive is chiropractic care?
A: Quality of life is key to understanding the perspective of cost. Those who have experienced long-term care and the chiropractic lifestyle recognise that chiropractic care doesn’t cost, it pays! A study done in 1996 showed 87% of long-time chiropractic patients considered their health as excellent, took less medications, and experienced less chronic conditions associated with ageing. Think of chiropractic as an RRSP for your body…it may cost a bit now, but the payoff is immeasurable.
Q: I have a good reason not to see a chirorpactor, don’t I?
A: Many people feel they’re “too old”, “it’s my genes”, “I’ve been told I have to live with it”, “the specialist said nothing can be done”. Truthfully, only a chiropractor can tell you how chiropractic can help you improve your health. No other professional can determine whether you need chiropractic care or not. You wouldn’t ask your plumber how to fix your car. If you want to understand chiropractic, talk with a chiropractic doctor.
Q: Is there a scientific basis to chiropractic?
A: Yes. The nervous system and its relationship with the spine is the focus of the practice of chiropractic. When the vertebrae of the spine become misaligned through trauma or repetitive injury, the range of motion becomes limited, and spinal nerves are compromised leading to dysfunction, pain and disability, and consequently, a decrease in the quality of life. A chiropractor endeavors to restore normal nerve expression.
Q: Should I visit a medical doctor before I make an appointment with a chiropractor?
A: According to the Center for Studies in Health Policy, “The DC can provide all three levels of primary care interventions and therefore is a primary care provider, as are MDs. The doctor of chiropractic is a gatekeeper to the health care system and an independent practitioner who provides primary care services. The DC’s office is a direct access portal of entry to the full scope of service.”
Q: Are chiropractors well educated?
A: The chiropractic academic program is four years in duration, and the hours are equivalent to medical school programs. Chiropractic students focus upon studying the body and gaining a comprehensive knowledge of all body systems with heavy emphasis upon the nerve, muscle and bone systems. Chiropractors are primary health care practitioners and require no referral to access their health care services.
Q: How many people see chiropractors in Canada?
A: As many as 60% of Canadians have seen a chiropractor in their lives, while approximately four and a half million Canadians seek the services of chiropractors each year and that number continues to climb. More Canadians are choosing to utilize chiropractic care as a componant of their personal health care programs.